BPAA reports significant growth year for industry in 2010


    BPAA News

    Industry sees 4.6% increase in consumer participation with nearly 70 million having bowled in 2009

    2010BPAALogo.jpgThe Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA), the bowling industry's premier trade organization, reported today a strong year of growth for the industry in 2009.

    Fueled by increased interest from women and younger bowlers and the rising popularity of entertainment bowling centers, the industry recorded its fourth consecutive year of growth highlighted by a 4.6% increase in consumer participation with nearly 70 million having bowled in 2009 alone.

    The BPAA also reported that bowling has once again ranked as the nation's top participatory sport and saw increased revenues, having more than a $10 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

    "We saw a banner growth year for the industry in 2009 and, for the fourth year in a row, enjoyed a considerable increase in consumer involvement at bowling centers across the country. In particular, we continue to see rising participation among women and youth bowlers, a stark contrast to the misperception that bowling is dominated by older males," said Steve Johnson, executive director of the BPAA. "Now more than 60% of all bowlers are under the age of 34 and half are women."

    Added Johnson, "Additionally, despite the economy, we are seeing more corporate partners invest their marketing dollars in cost-effective, high impact partnerships with the bowling industry." Current corporate partners include Pepsi, Budweiser, World Wrestling Entertainment, JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, Tony's® Pizza and many others.

    The rise of larger Family Entertainment Centers (FECs) and modern upgrades to existing centers has attracted corporate America. These large FECs are equipped with a wide array of amenities that include lounge areas and enhanced entertainment, technology and food/beverage offerings.

    "Many more companies are recognizing the impact that bowling has on consumer marketing, as more than 150 advertisers have included bowling in their creative messages over the past five years," said Johnson.

    The industry was also bolstered by consumer and media attention surrounding the historic grand opening of the International Bowling Campus (IBC) in Arlington, Texas, which houses the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and the International Training and Research Center – a USOC-recognized facility and home to TEAM USA.

    With the January grand opening of the IBC, the leading entities in bowling are now operating under a single roof, enabling increased cohesion and collaboration across the industry.

    The BPAA also reported a 5.6% increase in the number of consumers who consider themselves frequent bowlers. Frequency growth was also significant in the youth and young adult segments, helping contribute to increased revenues at local centers.

    The past year also saw heightened participation for bowling on the collegiate and high school levels. High school bowling has seen double-digit growth in five of the last eight seasons and the number of varsity bowlers has more than doubled this decade. This season, 48 states now recognize bowling on the high school varsity or club level – a significant increase from 20 states, eight years ago.